Forty Years of Doonesbury
Doonesbury opened for business forty years ago today by introducing B.D. to his roommate and title character, Mike Doonesbury:Over the years, B.D. provided some of the comic strip's best moments, from his unexpected friendship with Phred the V.C. terrorist who loved Cole Porter, to losing his leg (and his helmet) in Iraq:
Garry Trudeau is on my short list of great American humorists. Like his peers, Russell Baker and Calvin Trillin, he can skewer public figures and lay bare the absurdities of modern culture with a surprisingly gentle touch. While Trudeau clearly never liked the Vietnam War, or most of America's military misadventures that followed, he showed deep empathy for America's warriors. His storylines on the travails of those in active service and wounded veterans are priceless.
Slate has some great features on the anniversary, including a rare interview with Trudeau, the strip's 200 best moments (and they're all good) and a fascinating piece on the art of Doonesbury.